April 10, 2020

Outcome Driven Storytelling

Outcome Driven Storytelling

by Doug Stevenson, CSP

Storytelling in business started out as a fad and quickly gained acceptance as an essential communication skill. It’s also an essential leadership development skill, and a powerful sales skill that leads to increased sales and higher closing ratios. For train-the-trainer programs, it’s a smart addition to a curriculum that is often stacked with dull technical classes.

Strategic storytelling can be used internally to increase stakeholder engagement or to improve morale. It can be used to leverage your initiative over someone else’s, or to gain buy-in to your proposal.

Storytelling for business is serious business. When you provide strategic storytelling training for your leaders, salespeople, marketers, engineers, fund-raisers, IT professionals, human resource team and members of the training department, you give them a competitive edge.

Storytelling for business should be considered a mandatory class. In my strategic storytelling and Story Theater Method skills training workshops, seminars and keynotes, I find that my attendees, audience members and participants enthusiastically embrace these skills because they know they need a competitive advantage.

Salespeople want to improve their storytelling skills. While their competitors are regurgitating facts, data and statistics and using boring PowerPoint templates, they are hungry for skills that will make them more engaging and successful at changing hearts, minds and attitudes. The bottom line is that they want to close more deals. When the salesperson sells more, customers are served and corporate profitability improves.

In my instructional keynotes and skill-building workshops, I teach people to start with the point in mind. What is the outcome you are seeking when you give a presentation? What do you want people to do differently? How do you want them to think differently? If you know how to tell the right story that makes the right point for the right situation, you will increase the odds of achieving your desired outcome.

By beginning with the end in mind, you can identify the story that will lead to that outcome. This is not about telling a story because it’s fun or entertaining. My approach to storytelling for business is strategic, decisive and tactical. And yes, it can also be fun and entertaining at the same time. The stories I help people identify may be personal stories that act as metaphors, or business stories, or case study stories. Each story is chosen, crafted and delivered to achieve a specific outcome.

If you take storytelling seriously by devoting time, energy and resources to the skill building initiatives that give your employees this essential influence, negotiation and persuasion skill, you will see a tenfold return on your investment. My Story Theater Method and Aikido Story Selling System will give your people a competitive advantage that will improve your bottom line. But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what my clients have to say:


“We brought Doug Stevenson in to teach his Story Theater Method to both our senior trainers and our senior management here at Oracle University. He was a huge success. Since that time, I’ve personally used what I learned from Doug and have found it to be practical, valuable and fun. I’ve also hired him two more times to work with other groups. His workshop is both inspirational and very practical, with easy-to-use tools and techniques. I highly recommend him. Doug Stevenson delivers!”
Elizabeth Wiseman, VP, Oracle University

“My firm hired Doug to do a 3-hour business storytelling workshop for our Private Client group prior to our annual meeting. Our associates are pretty demanding, and anything less than excellence is not worth their time. Doug made it worth their time. He teaches very practical storytelling skills that are easily understood and specific to the kind of client conversations we have daily. Hiring Doug was the right choice.”
Scott Brophy – Banking Executive

“Doug Stevenson has built a reputation as a storytelling in business expert. When Deloitte asked me to find someone to teach storytelling skills to our associates, I hired Doug. He worked with me to create a highly customized workshop, even going so far as to incorporate our corporate themes into his workbook. Doug is a true professional. If you’re looking for a storytelling speaker or trainer, I highly recommend Doug Stevenson.”
Alexandra Davis, Advisory Talent Development, Deloitte

“The overall feedback from your storytelling training at SAP was extremely positive. Here are a few of the comments I received:
• “Doug had a lot of energy and provided a good storytelling framework in his workbook that we can use along with our current process.”
• “The speaker’s acting background helped him deliver a compelling session.”
• “The most important part was to learn that engineers do care about bringing in the human elements in a technical/business discussion.”
Pranav Wankawala, Director of Strategic Customer Engagements, SAP Labs


“I found Doug Stevenson’s Story Theater Method to be a unique way of teaching the art of good presentations. I took away a valuable lesson on how to “tell the story” to a prospect donor to close a major gift. I used it in a group setting of several donors and they seemed to enjoy it. We had 3 people sign up for our $10,000 Medallion Society as a result.”
Michele A. Conley, Executive Director, Cabell Huntington Hospital Foundation

“We set a fundraising goal for the night of $30k. Including ticket sales, we raised $90k!
We couldn’t have done this without you. We had a 12-month fundraising goal that we have now far exceeded in 4 months. Thank you is too small of a sentiment. My gratitude is profound. The ripples of the investment that you made in our presentations will be felt for generations.”
Alyx Porter Umphrey – Founder, ElevatedMeD Inc.


“I wanted to drop you a line to say it was a pleasure to meet you in Vienna. Thank you very much for the remarkable opening keynote performance at our summit. It made such an impact. People were employing your tips throughout the break-out sessions for the remainder of the day. We finished the summit with the spectacular performance of Dutch and Belgian team to convey Patients First perspective to payers. It goes without saying, it’ll be a pleasure to continue the collaboration.”
Marina Roudaut – Director – Pfizer France

“Doug Stevenson gave an informative and entertaining keynote on storytelling for sales at our 2017 Global Sales Kick-Off. We know storytelling will help us close more sales and Doug’s methodology is what we needed to get us started. Doug was a big hit for us, and he’ll be a big hit for you.”
Patrick Stuver, President and Co-Founder, Everbridge

“We brought Doug in to be the opening keynote speaker for our 2016 senior leadership summit. The room was filled with 120 of our VP’s and above, so the stakes were high. The greatest accolade I received in relation to Doug’s storytelling keynote was when our CEO texted the senior manager of talent development saying we absolutely nailed it with our keynote speaker. There is no question that Doug is one of the top tier speakers on storytelling in a business context.”
Adnan Barqawi, Asurion

In Conclusion:
If storytelling is on your agenda for professional development, let’s talk. In less time than it takes to get a tall Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks, we can determine if I’m the right fit for your organization. For the past 25 years, I’ve been the right fit for the following corporations, associations and government agencies all over the United States and in 17 countries around the globe.

Verizon, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Well Fargo, State Farm Insurance, Alphabet/Google, Aetna Insurance, UPS, CISCO Systems, Asurion, Insperity, Gartner, Caterpillar, John Deere, Lockheed Martin, Coca-Cola, Oracle, John Deere, , USAA Insurance, AbbVie Pharmaceuticals, Novo Nordisk, Gilead Pharmaceuticals, Amgen Biotech, Abbot Labs, Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead, Con Agra Foods, Nordstrom, Viacom, Time Warner, NBC Universal,  SAP, Rockwell Collins Aerospace, Deloitte,  UCB Pharma, Kaiser Permanente, Whirlpool, Medstar Hospitals, Everbridge Software, US Bank, The American Medical Association, The National Association of Realtors, The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, The Kellogg African American Resource Group, Nurse Next Door, The Project Management Institute and hundreds more…

Doug Stevenson, CSP, speaks to leaders, salespeople, brand managers and executives to help them make an emotional connection through storytelling mastery. He delivers customized keynotes, training and individual coaching. Call us for your free 30-minute consultation.

Doug is the author of Doug Stevenson’s Story Theater Method, and the Next Level Storytelling Video eLearning Series. He travels from Tucson, Arizona.

Connect with Doug on LinkedIn, watch his videos on You Tube and subscribe to his newsletter.

Contact Doug at [email protected]
or call 1-719-310-8586.

Doug Stevenson, copyright 2020, All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.

August 1, 2019

Standing Ovation Storytelling Skills for Storytelling in Business

The word storytelling is misleading. The best storytellers don’t simply “tell” stories. They make their story come alive with physical animation, vocal interpretation and real emotion. In other words, they move beyond story-telling to Story Theater.

Back in 1995, when I was first getting into the professional speaking business, I was doing presentations around town to various service clubs and networking groups. I talked about communication and presentation skills. Having been an actor for 25 years, I was comfortable at the front of the room. I was funny and spontaneous and had some good content. People told me I was a good speaker and that I told good stories. And then one night, I had a breakthrough.

The Breakthrough Moment (more…)

July 1, 2019

Business Storytelling – The Hybrid Story

Depending on the client and the event, I use stories that can be targeted towards lessons that are applicable in leadership, sales, marketing, fundraising or inspiration. The needs of the client determine what stories I use. My client’s audience isn’t interested in something that happened to me, unless I can relate it to their current situation.

My stories serve as metaphors for a problem or challenge that the organization as a whole, or the individuals in my audience, might be dealing with.

The stories that work best are what I call “hybrid stories”. They start out as personal stories that take place in a non-business setting, and then they transition into a business application. You can think of it as part one and part two of a story. (more…)